Hell Bent For Election

4 Oct


This earliest of UPA films was was directed by Chuck Jones and made for the United Auto Workers in their support for Franklin Roosevelt’s presidential campaign. Most of the artists moonlighted at night to create this short. There some nice designs here courtesy of Jack Schwartz and also some interesting camera angles too.

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4 Responses to “Hell Bent For Election”

  1. Bruce October 5, 2007 at 4:34 am #

    I cannot thank you enough for posting this piece, especially with the great stuff that was produced from Jones unit. I wish I knew the studio or animators that had animated the scenes that involved the Roservelt & Dewey trains. It looks like it was done at the Disney Studio, but I’m not 100% sure.Still, after viewing this short, it sure scared the heck out of me, especially with the scene that involved Sam, who must decide whether to listen to the influence of an elfin Dewey supporter who tries to make him fall asleep at the switch, or fight his influence and make sure that the FDR “Surplus Special” stays on the track. At one point, the elfin character metamorphisizes into Adolf Hitler, while trying to force Sam to neglect his duties.THAT was the scene that made me feel uncomfortable, and I couldn’t watch the rest, until a later date.Reguardless, I read alot about the short, but never seen if before in my life, and I cannot thank you enough for posting it, Kevin.From a wannabe cartoonist/artist,Bruce

  2. Christopher October 5, 2007 at 5:40 pm #

    A very rare and intresting short that. I think Chuck did have a thing for the UPA style, so it was cool to see him direct a ‘toon for them. Although like most UPA cartoons, there were scenes that were a tad dark and creeped me out a bit, partically the dream sequence. I like the designs of the Roservelt & Dewey trains as well.Was this cartoon remastered, BTW? I think a number of sound effects included in this sounded a little more “modern” than the rest.

  3. adma October 6, 2007 at 2:57 am #

    Remember that Jones was doing UPA style before UPA (cf. The Dover Boys)What I find most disturbing is that final credit card–if only because it foreshadows the infamous mid-60s WB openings and closings…

  4. Kevin Langley October 6, 2007 at 3:15 am #

    Bruce- A lot of the guys worked on this for free, including Jones. They wanted FDR to win, obviously. Bob Cannon, Ben Washam, and Dave Hilberman all animated on this one. I’m not sure who did those train scenes though. John Hubley, Bill Hurtz, and Phil Eastman storyboarded and Zack Schwartz designed it. Chris- This is the only version I’ve ever seen of it so I don’t know if it was remastered or not. I think it’s on the Cartoon Crazys:Goes to War DVD. Though I’m not sure, I don’t own that one.

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